Chassidism is about joy. You’re supposed to rejoice in your Judaism and revel in it. Hence all the beautiful, soul-stirring niggunim, the ecstatic farbrengens, and the lively davening. I try my hardest to serve G-d with love, and delight in the mitzvos which He has given me.
But nothing prepared me for the moment when a non-frum relative turned to me and said, quite brazenly, “I’m really looking forwards to Passover!”.
After I recovered from the initial shock, I began to think bitterly, of course you’re looking forwards to it. You don’t have to keep any of the halachos. You’re not cleaning the house, and you aren’t going to be the one eating tasteless matzoh for a week. For you, it’s just two nights of banqueting and that’s it! Yes, I am ashamed to admit this. But it was only a little later, when I got home and actually thought about it, that I realised this non observant Jew was, in that moment, a better chossid than I had ever been.
If only I could approach every festival with the same joy they did.
In that moment, I learnt a very important lesson, and that lesson has turned into my goal for Peysekh this year (I know I’ve probably already written about hundreds of Peysekh “goals”, but we all know I’ve forgotten them by now, so I haven’t much chance of completing them). To rejoice in my freedom, to rejoice in my Seyder, but also to rejoice in Peysekh itself. No matter what it takes, I want to honour the festival with joy.